Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a little lounge and restaurant tucked away in a relatively quiet area of the park. Tiffins is a fine dining table service restaurant that features globally inspired dishes and artwork. Before eating here, I imagined Tiffins being a more sophisticated version of Jungle Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom. That may be what it strives to become, but it fails. I wanted to love this restaurant. However, I could name another restaurant on Disney property that had a better version of every item I tried. Here, I will share my dining woes at Tiffins and the restaurants that offer a better (and sometimes cheaper) version of what they’re serving up at Tiffins.
First, I should say that nothing I ate here was BAD. It was just forgettable and made me long for items that I have tried elsewhere on Disney property.
Overview / Atmosphere
Our initial plan was to grab some small bites at the adjacent Nomad’s Lounge. However, we couldn’t find a seat and decided it was an opportune time to try the nearly empty Tiffins.
Tiffins has quite a unique collection of artwork. These pieces are meant to showcase global travel. I enjoyed looking at the works of art and made a point to go into all of the rooms. Each room had a unique feel and theme similar to Jungle Skipper Canteen. Yet, Tiffins did not have the same level of charm. It was as if Jungle Skipper Canteen had a pretentious, charmless cousin who takes himself way too seriously.
We received the WORST service I have ever experienced at a Disney restaurant. When we told our server that we were vegetarians and weren’t ordering any alcoholic beverages, he pretty much refused to acknowledge our table and tried to rush us out the door of a nearly empty restaurant. We had a hard time trying to get beverages from him. I asked if certain desserts were vegetarian he quickly said “yes” without even letting me finish my question. The dessert came out with a gelatin item on it and I could feel my anger rising. What could have been just a mediocre dining experience turned into a horrible experience because of this server.
We watched him give over the top attention to the other tables in his section. He helped one family move to a better table and was VERY attentive to the tables ordering alcoholic beverages. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and there was no reason for him to completely ignore us. Even though we didn’t order any meat dishes or alcoholic beverages, our bill still came to about $70.
I probably enjoyed the bread service the most. It comes with three different types of bread and red pepper hummus, spicy coriander yogurt, and ginger pear chutney. All of the dips brought a unique flavor combination to the pieces of bread, and it was fun to mix and match them. This item is also available at Nomad’s Lounge. I would recommend trying it there rather than at Tiffins.
A better alternative: This was a good option, but you can find a better option at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. With this bread service, you get your choice between five types of bread (traditional naan, garlic ginger naan, spiced naan, onion kulcha, and paneer paratha). Sanaa’s bread service comes with nine accompaniments making it a more adventurous dining experience.
Spiced Chickpea Falafels
I actually forgot that I ordered the falafels until I looked back at my photos. This dish comes with three falafels and is served with mint pistachio pesto and cumin-scented garlic raita. I found these to be rather bland and there wasn’t enough pesto or raita to help boost the flavor.
A better alternative: You will find falafels that are more filling and have more flavor at the Jungle Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom and Tangierine Cafe at EPCOT.
These plant-based tacos were tiny. They had a sprinkle of vegan cheese, tinga, and avocado. I found these to be bland and didn’t fill me up at all.
A better alternative: The Wave at the Contemporary has some amazing plant-based cauliflower tacos. They’re an appetizer, but the two tacos are enough to make a satisfying lunch on their own.
Halo-Halo seemed like it would be an adventurous dessert. It came with sweet potato ice cream, condensed milk ice cream, and raspberry ginger beer sorbet. I only found the sorbet to have a unique flavor. The other two were boring. The serving size was incredibly small as well.
A better alternative: ANYWHERE ELSE! Save your money and get a Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu.
Nomad’s Lounge is incredibly popular and I enjoy the “art gallery” environment of both the lounge and restaurant. In my opinion, this location would be better if it were solely a lounge and gallery. The food was too overpriced to justify the poor service and lack of originality. I probably won’t be returning here anytime soon.